ZIMBABWE is set to benefit from over US$8,9 million in grant funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to reinforce Covid-19 related control measures in six SADC countries.
The Board of Directors of the AfDB approved the nearly US$8,9 million kitty to facilitate the procurement of laboratory and medical supplies, including testing kits, personal protective gear and non-invasive ventilators in Lesotho, Malawi, Madagascar, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The grant funding comes under the bank’s Covid-19 Response Facility.
The Sadc secretariat is the recipient and the implementing agency of the grant.
“The financing will reinforce the SADC’s capacity to coordinate pandemic response measures, including surveillance and sensitisation in the six beneficiary countries,” said the Bank.
The pandemic is projected to have a substantial economic impact on the Sadc member countries. For instance, real GDP in all the Sadc countries, except Zimbabwe, is forecast to contract in 2020.
The approved project aligns with two of the bank’s High Five priority areas, namely improving the quality of life for the people of Africa and integrating the continent, as well as the SADC disaster preparedness and response mechanism to fight disasters and pandemics.
The 16-nation SADC region had recorded around 120 000 Covid-19 cases out of a continent-wide total of 325 000 cases as of Wednesday this week.
It is expected that the funds will go a long way in supporting Zimbabwe’s fight against Covid-19, which has been strongly supported by local and and foreign companies, churches and some individuals.